The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Author, Now You See Me, (2014)

Became the face for the media of the Oklahoma City Bombing because she was one of the first to arrive on the scene


Appeared Today, Good Morning America, Dateline, 60 Minutes, Fox News, etc.

Married to Tom

Between her and Tom they have six children and thirteen living grandchildren, plus Chase & Colton (d. 1995)

Guest Bio

Finding Forgiveness for Oklahoma City Bombers


The bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995 was the deadliest act of terrorism ever enacted on American soil until the attack on the World Trade Center six years later. The death toll reached 168, including nineteen children under the age of six. Two of those were Chase and Colton Smith – Kathy’s grandsons. They and their mother, Edye Smith, lived with Kathy and her late husband, Glenn.

Kathy and Edye worked a block away from the Murrah Building. When they heard the blast they ran outside and saw the smoke rising from the building. They quickly began to run in the direction of where her grandchildren were in the day care center. As Kathy and Edye searched for the babies, they saw mangled and bloody people staggering from the building, heard people screaming in agony, and saw rescue personnel retrieving body parts on stretchers. Kathy and Edye were two of the first people on the scene after the bombing. She quickly became the face of the media for the Oklahoma City bombing as she began to search for the truth in what actually happened.


In an effort to cope with the loss of her grandsons, Kathy dedicated her energy to searching for the truth about the Murrah bombing. Her home became an encampment of journalists and news reporters. Kathy wanted Chase and Colton to be remembered. Kathy, who was a Christian, was also struggling in her faith, “I was having a hard time believing that the good and loving God I had worshipped all my life really existed. And if He did, could I trust Him after what had happened to me? I had prayed; I begged – and still my babies died.” Kathy struggled to cope with the loss of her grandsons.
“The absence of sleep and presence of pain mixed with unbearable grief and seemingly no way out…destroyed my ability to reason,” shares Kathy. She decided suicide would be the best way out, but did not want to cause more pain for her family members. One day, Kathy heard John Walsh, host of the TV show America’s Most Wanted, speak to a group of Murrah survivors. He said, “You will grieve and you will grieve deeply, but you will survive!” His words gradually helped Kathy choose life. John’s proclamation gave Kathy hope, something that had disappeared with the death of her grandsons. “I thought I was doomed to a life filled with pain,” recalls Kathy.

Fourteen months after the bombing, Kathy’s husband, Glenn was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even in his physical condition, Glenn continued to search for the truth about the day of the bombing. On July 15, 1997, Glenn lost his battle with cancer. Timothy McVeigh, one of the men convicted in the bombing, died by lethal injection on June 11, 2001 for his hate crimes. Terry Nichols, the other man convicted in the bombing was sentenced to 160 consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole. In April 2005, Terry admitted to his role in the bombing. Up until this time, he had denied that he had any involvement.


One morning, while awaiting a pretrial hearing, Kathy met a woman named Joyce Wilt, Terry Nichols’ mother. People shunned Joyce because of her son, but she soon became Kathy’s friend. Joyce and Terry’s sister, Susan, were hurting too and they were not responsible for what happened. Kathy wrote Terry a letter that Susan took to him in prison. Kathy admits that in the beginning she wrote to Terry because she needed answers. “I wanted to know everything Nichols knew about the planning and execution of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building bombing.” Over time she and Terry developed a personal relationship through their letters, phone calls and eventually a face-to-face meeting. Kathy became his friend. She says, “I found that hating your enemy is like drinking poison and then expecting your enemy to die.” Although their friendship was unnatural Kathy came to realize it was a gift from God. “I found that as I prayed for Nichols and his family, I was finding it easier to sleep at night, and I began to realize that forgiving Nichols was a lot easier than hating him. The more I prayed, the more restored I felt,” shares Kathy. She also felt like forgiveness could serve as the catalyst that would direct them to God. While in prison, Terry did become a Christian.

There was not a magical moment when God told Kathy to forgive Terry. She says, “His process transforms us in ounces, not pounds or tons. My journey led from unbearable grief to bitterness and despair, then to a compulsive desire to know why, and finally to forgiveness and love. The journey has been long and frustrating. But now that I look back, I see that the wisdom and love of our Creator were always there to guide me.”

Over time, Kathy extended forgiveness to the Murrah bombing’s perpetrators and their families. She invited some into her home, which she kept a secret from her neighbors, and shared with them about the Lord. Kathy also reached out to New Yorkers after the World Trade Center bombing. “I knew that the broken survivors of the Twin Towers massacre needed hope that they could survive the devastating loss of their loved ones. Having been in their place six years earlier, I understood perfectly,” admits Kathy.

In 2006, Kathy’s phone conversations with Terry abruptly ended. Her name had been removed from his calling list permanently. Today their communication is few and far between although she sends him a Christmas card each year. “Terry Nichols and I are now family without being relatives. We share an invisible bloodline, made possible through Christ,” says Kathy.


When Chase and Colton died, an artist from Austin, Texas offered to do a portrait for Kathy. The painting touched Kathy deeply and brought her a sense of comfort. Kathy began to paint after the tragedy and even began studying painting with respected artists around the United States. In 2002, Kathy married Tom Sanders and moved to Arkansas where she decided to pursue art as a career. In 2013, Kathy contacted the families who lost children in the tornado in Oklahoma. She offered to paint a portrait for the family and used this as an opportunity to share their grief and offer hope. She enjoys touching others’ lives with her work and says painting allows her to give back to others through art.

As for Kathy’s quest for those haunting, unanswered questions about the Murrah bombing she says, “I have grown to live with the little I know, and the much that I don’t know, about Murrah. The obsession for truth that once drove me to people across the nation is now little more than mild curiosity.” She is thankful for her relationship with Jesus and says that is what has sustained her through the years. Kathy always welcomes the opportunity to share her experiences and testimony with groups.

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